Monday, May 31, 2010

Paint Layers

I spent a little time this evening testing out the random orbital sander I bought a few weeks back on the body of the Bug. I thought this photo of the layers of paint was interesting. The orange at the center is the original color, the cherry red in the center was the color it was originally and the color it will be again eventually, and the top layer is the darker red it is currently.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

$40 and a Bump in the Head Later

I installed a ceiling fan in the garage this morning. Lowe's had a 52" contractor grade fan on sale for $20 this weekend and it was too good a deal to pass up. Installing it was pretty simple. There was a single bulb overhead light in the center of the garage and all I had to do was remove that and wire in the fan in it's place. During the process however I managed to drop the fan motor (the piece the blades attach to) while on top the ladder. The seven foot plunge to the floor it took bent it out of shape and resulted in another trip to Lowe's (third of the weekend) to get a replacement. At least it was only $20 and not more. I've since been able to bend the other motor back into decent enough shape so I may actually be able to put another up somewhere to provide additional circulation.

While I was installing the replacement my four year old son was out in the garage watching me work. As I went to reposition the step ladder the round metal motor housing (that goes around the motor and wiring to give it a cleaner look) that I had (stupidly) left on top the ladder fell and landed on the top of my head. After yelling a few choice words my son asks me in a very nonchalant tone of voice, "What's wrong daddy?" "I hurt myself Matthew," I replied. "You need an ice pack?" "Yea, go get daddy an icepack." So he runs into the house. A minute later he and my wife run out to the garage. "You ok? my wife asks, "Matthew ran into the house frantically saying you had hurt yourself and needed an ice pack. I thought you had really hurt yourself." But other than a bump on my head and feeling stupid for it I was fine.


Friday, May 21, 2010

A little bit at a time

This week I've been making progress on the pans slowly but surely. It's taking far longer and more effort than I initially thought it would. One of the problems I've run into is the old body to pan gasket. Initially I tried just using the wire wheel on the angle grinder to remove it (before realizing exactly what it was) but this created a huge sticky mess. Note to anyone trying to remove this in the future: don't use this method because of the aforementioned huge sticky mess it creates. After a little research I went to Lowe's and got a paint scraper and used that tonight. It was much easier and made far less mess. And the angle grinder will make quick work of the leftover residue.

I also started removing the tar board over the tunnel tonight to make sure there's no rust anywhere. So far I've found nothing but I've still got quite a bit of it left to remove. I'm hoping Sunday to finish up cleaning the pan and have it ready for a coat of POR15 early next week.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cleaning the Pan

Over the last few days I've been working on taking the pan down to bare metal. Using an angle grinder with wire wheels mostly I've been removing 37 years worth of rust, tar board, and grime with the ultimate goal of giving them a coat of POR 15. The angle grinder makes quick work of it for the most part but it's dirty work and eye protector and a dust mask are a must. Ear protection is helpful too as the angle grinder can get very loud. I'm sure my neighbors are not too thrilled with this step of the project because of that. Below is a picture I took early on of the difference between a cleaned/uncleaned side. I haven't touched the driver side yet but the passenger side is down to bare metal. It took about 45 minutes or so with the angle grinder to get it to that point. Once I get more done on this part I'll be posting detailing it further on a new page - Cleaning the Pan.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

And then there was one

Earlier in the week I exchanged the brown Bug for cash and sent it to it's new home. I got less than I wanted for it but after having it for sale for a few months without much interest when I finally had someone make me an offer on it I jumped at the chance. While I'm sad to see it go I really needed the space in the garage if I'm ever going to make any progress on my other Bug. As the picture below shows I now have a lot more space to maneuver around. From here I'm going to start working on the pan.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

My Daily Driver hits 100k

Earlier today my daily driver GTI reached the 100,000 mile mark. I knew it was coming and made sure I had my camera with me to capture the moment. As it was the wife was with me to snap the picture so I wouldn't have to stop on the side of the road to do it. Aside from the Bug I've owned this car longer than any other and put far more miles on it than any thing I've had. When I took delivery of it from the dealer in January 2004 it had 10.7 miles on it. They sure grow up fast.